Posted at 2:39 AM on March 3, 2011
by Ward Jacobson
A little over a week ago I was at my cubicle, amidst about 30 other cubicles in a large office room. There was chatter - some of it louder than I felt it should have been. You know how offices can get on certain days. My concentration was suffering, so I donned the headphones and carefully selected a CD that would help regain my focus and calm.
Gabriel Faure's Requiem.
Wow. I hadn't heard it for so long. It was like getting together for lunch with an old friend. My first experience with the Faure Requiem was back in the 80s, as part of the Abendmusik Chorus in Lincoln, Nebraska. John Rutter came from England to lead the performance and I became a fan for life.
The CD I chose to block the office chatter was a disc featuring Rutter's Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia - a recording made just a year before the performance in which I participated. For me it was just another reminder of the many redeeming qualities of music. Listening to this recording took me right back to 1986, to First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, to the sound, feel and smell of the sanctuary, and to that queasy-kind-of-anxious feeling....you know, not wanting to mess up in front of a choral genius like Rutter. Then there's the music itself - typical Faure - lush, serene, contemplative, and stunningly beautiful. The Requiem is a little over 30 minutes long. I listened to it three times that day - back to back to back. And I got a lot of work done too.
So the next time you feel yourself headed to a place you'd rather not be, stop. Take a deep breath and grab the headphones. Find that music that transports you to a better place. But if you need directions, the Faure Requiem is a pretty decent route to take.
Fantastic advice! I know what you mean, us radio folks just can't seem to know when to shut our mouths...we do have a large library to choose from thankfully to block out the chit-chat!